In marketing, there is a lot of talk about how to leverage your content. I think the same can be said about fundraising. Leveraging your content refers to using the same content in multiple ways to increase exposure to prospective buyers and enhance sales. In fundraising, you can leverage each story that you have.
We all know that stewardship is essential to the nonprofit-donor relationship and that there are many ways to “touch” or steward a donor. Good examples include bringing a recent success story from a beneficiary, an article written about the organization or thoughts written by the Executive Director to the donor/prospect. These are stories that once created can be used and reused. And most importantly, brought to the donor where the donor wants to experience the connection – whether it is on or offline.
Leveraging your story
How long does it take to write that interesting, engaging story? 30 minutes? 45? 60 or more, if you are struggling a bit. Make every minute count by offering it to prospective and current donors.
Let’s consider a donor story that someone wrote for a recent event – maybe the story was told at the event by the beneficiary. Where else could you use that story?
- Include it in your weekly (monthly or quarterly) email to donors
- Add it into a newsletter
- Leave it in a gift bag at your next event
- Place copies on the counter as you enter your nonprofit
- Turn it into a solicitation letter
- Place it in a brochure
- Audio – Create a recording of the story
- Send that recording out in the email
- Post it on your website’s homepage
- Video – Take an iPhone video of the beneficiary or someone who can authentically tell the story (someone who knows the story from either the agency’s or the volunteer’s perspective)
- Post it on your website
- Post it on social media sites (see below)
- Send it in an email solicitation to prospects and donors
- Social Media Shares
- Facebook – If your prospects and donors are on it – you should have a presence.
- Twitter – write a short line that will bring people to your site to read or view the piece
- Instagram – Create a still shot – remind people who it is that you are helping. Need suggestions? Check out any major US retailer
- LinkedIn – It is the business connector – you are a business. There is also an easy way to create an automatic LinkedIn post when you post on Twitter. LinkedIn can help.
- Verbal Shares
- Phone call relaying the story
- Meeting to tell the story or share one of the print versions
- Events – The same story can be used at more than one event or repurposed to offer additional print material to take home
Your job is to let people know the amazing work you are doing. Repurposing a story allows you to focus on how to share instead of what to share. And once you have taken it as far as you can, create a new story and start again. The never ending stewardship cycle will broaden your reach, your “touches” and eventually, your donations.